…the disciples woke him (Jesus) and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
— MARK 4:38–39
When I read Mark 4:35–41, I thankfully cannot identify with the disciples’ experience of being in a boat about to be capsized by a furious squall, but I can identify with the
emotional response to their circumstance and their frustration that Jesus didn’t seem to be aware or care that they were about to drown. He was asleep while they faced a serious, life-threatening storm! What seemed to be so certain to them only a short time before—that Jesus was the miracle-working teacher who loved them—was being drowned out by water pouring into their boat. Perhaps the underlying question to their comment of “don’t you care if we drown?” was actually “do you really love us?”
When we’re terrified by the reality of what we are facing in our boats, it’s easy to feel like Jesus is asleep or not in the boat with us at all. It’s easy to wonder if he loves us or cares about what is in our boats when the storm rages around us.
When Jesus stood up and rebuked the storm with, “Quiet! Be still!” the disciples may have thought he was also speaking to them. Their hearts needed quietening from the storm within, just like the storm outside. They needed to remember that Jesus was in the boat with them and their fears and anxieties. They needed to see with their eyes and know in their hearts that he was in control, even when all around them felt otherwise.
Jesus asks us for simple trust in the middle of furious squalls in our lives. He is in control. He’s in the boat with us. The winds, waves, troubles and fears are under his watchful and loving eyes.
FURTHER SCRIPTURE REFLECTION: MARK 4:35–41
1. What is threatening to capsize my boat today?
2. What is Jesus saying to me in the middle of my storm?
Glendyne Gerrard is the Director of Defend Dignity, working to end sexual exploitation in Canada. She lives in Oakville, ON with her husband, Doug